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Washington Report May 6, 2016
06 May 2016

Washington Report May 6, 2016

Joyce Rubenstein and the Capstone Team (John Rogers, Alan MacLeod, Will Stone, Diane Rogers, Erik Oksala and Kayla Baca)

WHAT BUDGET? Politico: “The House will not vote on a budget when it returns from recess next week, according to a spokesperson for Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA). The news dashes the sense of cautious optimism that emerged after a House GOP Conference meeting Friday that the budget might soon receive a floor vote.”


1. Trumps the nominee.
2. Trump enters general election mode.
3. Cruz hit the wall — hard.
4. Does #NeverTrump really mean never Trump?
5. Clinton still can’t put Sanders away
Fivethirtyeighty … but the Democratic race remains fundamentally unchanged after Sanders win. The problem for the Sanders campaign remains delegate math and demographics. The exit polls on the Democratic side look familiar: Sanders dominated among young and independent voters, Clinton among old voters and black voters. Consistent with Sanders’s gains as votes were counted, he also won among late deciders, getting 55% of the vote from people who decided in the last few days. That could mean his campaign’s claim that voters in upcoming primaries will turn toward him as they get to know him more has some merit. It could also reflect the decision by the Clinton campaign to spend virtually nothing on advertising in Indiana, since it has such a formidable lead among delegates.
BERNIE– I’LL STAY IN UNTIL THE LAST VOTE IS COUNTED — SANDERS The Hill: “… trails front-runner Hillary Clinton among delegates and superdelegates and would need landslide victories in the remaining primary states to grab the nomination. He has admitted his path toward victory has become “narrow.” Clinton has 1,683 pledged delegates to Sanders’s 1,362, according to AP. Clinton’s lead grows substantially when superdelegates are factored in. She has 522 superdelegates to Sanders’s 39, according to the AP. Democrats need 2,383 delegates to clinch the nomination. NOTE TO BERNIE The Vox: “… superdelegates are not the reason Clinton is going to win the nomination. Clinton is going to win the nomination because she is getting many more votes than her rival — and thus winning the pledged delegate total. In other words: If all of the superdelegates were eliminated overnight, Bernie Sanders would still be losing the race. Blaming them for his pending defeat isn’t just missing the point — it’s objectively wrong. The confusion arises here because neither candidate is going to have enough of the pledged delegates to get the nomination without superdelegates to put them over the top.”

BATTLE FATIGUE Ted Cruz ended his presidential campaign Tuesday night after a crushing defeat in Indiana, paving the way for Trump to be the GOP presidential nominee. John Kasich ended his presidential bid on Wednesday, one day after Trump became the presumptive nominee and Ted Cruz bowed out of the race. Ultimately, Kasich outlasted nearly all of his rivals but can claim to have beaten few of them. He won only one contest — his home state of Ohio — during the primary season, and his final tally of 153 delegates puts him fourth in the race behind Marco Rubio, who dropped out in mid-March.”

TWEET DU JOUR (Wednesday) –@jmartNYT: “Was there a mass cell service outage today? Because a lot of elected Rs are ‘traveling’ today and somehow unable to access cell phones.”

worked out — but it’s looking like the Empire State will produce its first president since FDR. Most people assume Clinton is the prohibitive favorite in this contest, and that’s a fair extrapolation of current polling that shows Trump would start the race as a historically unpopular candidate. But nobody should be handing Clinton the keys to her old house just yet … The Donald has proved sufficiently surprising by now that we are obliged to offer a heartfelt, “Who knows?” But there are three particular factors making Trump a bigger threat to Clinton than is generally acknowledged.1.Concerns about bigotry aren’t the vote-mover you might think. 2.Trump is much better at dictating the terms of engagement … he’s an effective manipulator. 3. Clinton will be forced to defend the status quo. … Trump, the middle finger to the way things have been, and Clinton, the choice of more of the same. But if there are any lingering doubts over whether the Clinton campaign and the Democratic Party are entering into the general election with a sufficiently aggressive posture, a new ad, just out from the Clinton camp, should begin to dispel them.” Click for Ad

f3325aec1ae266283d5c1c14_464x560HOW’S IT PLAYING? Playbook: “In the Senate … all five Republican leaders indicated Wednesday that they would support Trump as the eventual nominee.

“Well, to be perfectly candid with you, I’m just not ready to do that at this point,” Ryan told CNN’s Jake Tapper. “I’m not there right now. And I hope to, though, and I want to.”
– Speaker Paul Ryan
The Hill: “Paul Ryan’s … latest public break with Trump has started tearing Republicans apart. Members of the “Never Trump” movement and Trump’s biggest critics on Capitol Hill cheered Ryan’s remarks. ”

TRUMP HITS BACK “I am not ready to support Speaker Ryan’s agenda. Perhaps in the future we can work together and come to an agreement about what is best for the American people. They have been treated so badly for so long that it is about time for politicians to put them first!”

WHIPLASH …BREAKING Politico: “House Speaker Paul Ryan’s office announced that he will meet in Washington Thursday with Donald Trump and RNC Chairman Reince Priebus. The presumptive nominee will also huddle with a group of House Republican leaders.”

NEWT GINGRICH? Roll Call “For those who’ve been around the Capitol a while, one face is surging especially fast into view as Donald Trump describes what he’s looking for in a vice president.”


TRUMP’S MASSIVE HOLE Politico: “[Trump] … trails Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders by polling margins not seen in a generation — Trump begins the general-election phase of the campaign facing the prospect of a near-historic blowout defeat. And pollsters think he might be so far in the hole that he can’t dig himself out. … A CNN/ORC International poll … found Clinton leading Trump by 13 points among registered voters nationally, 54 to 41.and Bernie leading Trump by 16 points.”

ACCORDING TO COOK The Hill: “The nonpartisan Cook Political Report has shifted 11 states on its election scorecard toward Democrats since Donald Trump became the presumptive Republican presidential nominee. “This has been an exceedingly unpredictable year,” the analyst said. “Although we remain convinced that Hillary Clinton is very vulnerable and would probably lose to most other Republicans, Donald Trump’s historic unpopularity with wide swaths of the electorate — women, millennials, independents and Latinos — make him the initial November underdog.”
Colorado, Florida, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin were all shifted from toss-up states to leaning Democratic. The “solid Republican” states Missouri and Indiana were downgraded to “likely Republican.” New Mexico is now solidly Democratic, and North Carolina is a toss-up after leaning Republican. The analyst also shifted Arizona and Georgia from likely Republican to leaning Republican. The shifts is good news for Clinton and down-ballot Democrats, who are increasingly seeking to tie their GOP opponents to Trump.

2016 HOUSE RACES Fivethirtyeight: “In the House, where Democrats would need to pick up 30 seats, Republicans are more insulated by gerrymandering and the fact that filing deadlines are now closed in over 80 percent of districts. On a micro level, it’s extremely difficult to count 30 GOP seats that Democrats have a chance to win. But on a macro level, if Clinton does end up beating Trump by more than 8 points nationally, there could be some surprises, particularly in highly educated and heavily minority districts. So maybe Trump changes my range from Dems picking up five to 15 seats to perhaps 10 to 20, but that’s still a long way from 30. … the ratings at the Cook Political Report show that Democrats would need to win 34 of 36 competitive seats to win the House. That’s an extremely tall order.”

dd8de6ebc4a48df3ccc5a95b_880x476HAS ANYONE EVER DISAGREED WITH DONALD TRUMP MORE THAN DONALD TRUMP? “The many, many, MANY sides of the likely Republican nominee, in his own words”: “To create the definitive archive of Trump’s long argument with himself, Politico mined an almost limitless seam of his radio and TV interviews, newspaper and magazine profiles, books written about him and books written by him, rambling campaign speeches and late-night tweets. In a world where candidates have lost elections over a single flip-flop, Trump has turned the self-contradiction into an art form. Click here for Full Article. It will leave you gasping for air.

WEEKLY MUST READ (it’s long, but so worth it): Andrew Sullivan’s cover story in New York Magazine, “Our Democracy Has Never Been So Ripe for Tyranny — The Case 22e2c8eed112e7ec963b118a_560x372Against the People” with the online headline: “Democracies End When They are too Democratic. And right now, America is a breeding ground for tyranny.” (Yes, this one will keep you up at night.)


DID TRUMP JUST HAND THE SENATE TO ELIZABETH WARREN Politico Magazine “… Warren’s influence is twofold. First and foremost, she’s the undisputed queen of the party’s message: Warren-esque liberalism has become the de facto tongue for most of the party’s Senate candidates, regardless of gender—just as her brand of economic populism has dominated the Democratic presidential primaries. Warren’s passions— decreasing college debt, investing in research and regulating financial institutions—have become the party’s passions. AIN’T A NORMAL YEAR In a normal year, the Senate would be likely to stay in Republican hands. But now that Trump has secured the nomination, the prospect of a powerful anti-Trump turnout puts as many as a dozen Republican-held seats in play—with the possibility of electing as many as eight new female senators to join the 12 Democratic women who will return in 2017. That would give us a new Senate with a Democratic majority, a historically large bloc of women—as many as 20 on the Democratic side—and one person ready to lead them. In short, Trump could end up making Warren one of the most powerful people in the Capitol. ISN’T IT IRONIC? It would be quite a set of ironies to cap off this strange national election: … Trump’s nomination could unwittingly usher into power a small army of liberal women, following Warren into battle against wealthy money men like himself. And the gate-crasher who ran for Senate in 2012 because Senate Republicans wouldn’t let her run the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau could soon be pulling the strings of the Senate Democrats—and bossing around the very Republicans who blocked her.

TRUMPMARE As the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia depicted last month, a “Trumpmare” scenario would push Florida, Nevada, New Hampshire and Pennsylvania Senate races from “Tossup” or “Lean Republican” to “Lean Democrat.” It’s easy to see why: Recent polls show Clinton beating Trump by 15 points in Pennsylvania and 19 points in New Hampshire. It’s hard to imagine that kind of lopsided drubbing wouldn’t affect the Senate races there. That alone would get Democrats a 51-seat majority. But the Trumpmare map also puts Arizona, Indiana, Iowa, Missouri, North Carolina and Ohio contests in play—a potential rout for the blue team. And even without Trump, the University of Virginia’s analysis throws six Senate race “Crystal Ball” ratings in the direction of Democrats. Other experts have made similar adjustments. Click here for entire article.

LATINO NUMBERS The nonpartisan National Association for Latino Elected and Appointed Officials projected that 13.1 million Latinos will cast ballots in November. That would be a 17% increase in turnout and an 8.7% boost in the Latino share of the electorate from 2012, when Obama trounced Romney by 44 points among Latino voters. … Gallup found in March that 77% of Hispanics in the United States had an unfavorable view of Trump, while just 12% had a favorable view. Latino Decisions, a Latino-specific polling firm that has done work for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, reported even higher figures. In an April poll, Trump earned an unfavorable rating from 87% of Latino voters. KEEP AN EYE ON THESE STATES Latinos make up 22% of eligible voters in Arizona, 18% in Florida, 17% in Nevada, 14% in Colorado and 10% in Illinois, according to Pew Research. All are states with competitive Senate elections, where GOP candidates will have to decide whether to break with Trump.

ARIZONA Politico: “Publicly, John McCain insists Donald Trump will have a negligible effect on his campaign for reelection. But behind closed doors at a fundraiser in Arizona last month, the Republican senator and two-time presidential hopeful offered a far more dire assessment to his supporters. … McCain has said he’ll support the nominee, and he is in better shape to hold onto his seat than many of his vulnerable Republican colleagues. But if Trump’s nomination turns out to be more than a minor drag on down-ballot Republicans, McCain — who’s expected to face Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick, a credible Democratic challenger — could easily become a top target. One of his former top aides, Mark Salter, has already said he will support Hillary Clinton for president. BUT, BUT, BUT McCain has spent decades building his credentials with the Latino community. He’s been a persistent champion of immigration reform and won the endorsement this year of the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the first time the group has endorsed a candidate. He’s opposed Trump’s statements on immigrants for months, and aides say he will continue to do so.”

NEVADA “… Rep. Joe Heck (R-NV) is running for the open seat of retiring Minority Leader Harry Reid. Heck “has a great relationship with the Hispanic community. And he doesn’t have the same weaknesses that Trump has, mainly [with] women and other groups. The challenge for Heck, who told a Nevada TV station Tuesday he will support the GOP nominee but is focused “solely” on his own race, comes in the form of Democratic candidate Catherine Cortez Masto, who is likely to link Heck to Trump every day until November. Cortez Masto, who would be the first Latina senator, called the Trump effect “personal.”

KENT STATE REMEMBRANCE This past week, May 4th, was the 46th anniversary of shootings at Kent State. Remembering the day that four students were murdered.

YOU CARE “Johnny’s Half Shell is moving to Adams Morgan,” Politico: “The iconic oyster bar and seafood restaurant will close May 26 and reopen next month at 1819 Columbia Road NW, the current site of Cashion’s Eat Place.”

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